Cyanide alert after Lancashire industrial estate burglary

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Police have issued a county-wide alert after 200 metal balls coated in cyanide were stolen in a factory burglary.

Officers fear contact with the items could prove fatal and have urged the thieves to hand them in as soon as possible.

The balls, which are approximately the size of cricket balls and are used in the aerospace industry, were taken in a raid on an industrial estate in Poulton on Sunday. They were contained in metal vessels within vats of cyanide.

The chemical could be dangerous if inhaled or makes contact with a person’s mouth.

“We are urging anyone who may have any information about the location of these potentially hazardous balls to get in contact with us as soon as possible on 101,” said PS Jim Ormand from Blackpool Police.

“On the face of it, they appear to be made from lead, when in fact they have traces of the poison cyanide and they need to be handled and disposed of in a safe way.”